I know I was a bit late to the magic show, but at least I finally checked in. I am sorry it took me about three weeks to see the spectacular movie that is Now You See Me. The film is a whirlwind of fun and for a caper, mystery, magic, crime movie, it keeps you guessing. There are parts of the film that you can read into before hand, while there are other scenes that keep you pondering at the end of the film. It deserves more than one viewing for not only the latter reason but also because it is visually remarkable and astonishing to the viewer. Don’t believe me? Watch this trailer:
The trailer in this case does not give much of a synopsis though. So let Jacki K give you a quick run down. The movie opens at four different corners of America with a different kind of Magic Performer doing their own thing. Some with a smaller performance while others hold the attention of hundreds surrounding the stage. Each performer shocks and awes us as well. We see a hooded figure at each performance though. Then afterwards Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley (Isla Fisher), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) each find a Tarot Cards that tell them to meet at a certain (rather shabby) location in New York, New York. Daniel is given the Lovers card, Henley the High Priestess, Merritt the Hermit, and Jack-Death. They soon find out they were not the only one given a card and learn that they must work together to pull of the most majestic magic trick (or illusion, because you know, tricks are what whores do for money) in all of history.
The rest of what happens is mind-bottling, irrational fun! But magic’s never really meant to be rational is it? Instead they have Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) there to actually debunk the magic. Which I was unsure about at first. But then as tricks are revealed you realize this movie wouldn’t be nearly as delightful or interesting if they didn’t reveal how the Four Horsemen did it. The Four Horsemen is what the magicians call themselves and their show (which consists of 3 different locations and acts). As the feds, led by Detective Dylan (Mark Ruffalo) and the French Liaison Alma Dray (that french girl from Inglorious Basterds, Mélanie Laurent), try uselessly to solve how these magical thieves are getting away with stealing all of this money.
Eventually, it is revealed that the Four Horsemen are working together to prove that they are what “The Eye” is what they need. “The Eye” is a secret organization that protects the real magic? I think? It all happens so quickly that its difficult to clasp onto. Not everything is answered in the end, or that clearly, but I believe they do this to leave room for a sequel. Maybe not with the same star-studded cast (that would be a bit improbable without them getting arres… fuck, never-mind. Spoilers) which is sad because they all perform exquisitely.
The cast of Now You See Me is filled with class A performances and nicely deliver laughs, intrigue, and cleverness. I honestly believe that it was perfectly cast. Jessie Eisenberg plays the cocky control freak (not a difficult feat for him), Isla is a seductive temptress who enjoys playing games, Woody is a pure gem, as always a very sarcastic yet sincere man, and Dave is innocent with a side of hard core fighter. Freeman plays the previous magician who heartlessly destroys the tricks of the trade for profit stupendously well. Ruffalo is craving for the attention that the audience rightly should deliver. And Michael Caine, the “benefactor” of the Four Horsemen, does an incredible job of making you love him then hate him.
The writing is very clever, from looking back on who had what Tarot Cards bestowed to them, how they delivered the explanation of the heists, the proposal of the distractions, and debunking classic magic tricks all keep you entertained every single moment. Bravo to Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, and Edward Ricourt for writing such a wonderful plot with intriguing characters and thank you to Louis Leterrier for bringing it all to life.
In the end, Now You See Me will leave you with some unanswered questions, but the ride that it delivers before hand, it well worth the confusion.